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Super-capable notebook from Acer – the Aspire R7

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Be prepared to feel awkward the first time you open your new Acer Aspire R7. The multi-angular lid lifts into some positions you’ve never experienced before and the initial question you’ll ask yourself is, “Can it do that?” Sure enough, it can.

Open it like a laptop, open it for movie viewing, game playing or lay the top back for the biggest tablet you ever saw. Anyway you do it, the Acer Aspire R7 just works. All this flexibility comes from the “Ezel Hinge” which allows it to flip, turn upside down, lie flat or float mid-air (you’ll find this handy while standing.)

Attached to the hinge is a high resolution, touch screen that works extremely well with the Acer Stylus. The tagline is “designed for touch” and it probably works better for touch than most other touchscreens I’ve used. This 15.6-inch, 1920x1080 screen has an amazing viewing angle of 178 degrees.

Interestingly, the keyboard is placed forward, near the edge of the machine, similar to the old “laptop days.” Makes typing easier as far as I’m concerned. The touchpad however is now located nearer the screen and you need to reach across the keyboard to navigate if you aren’t using a mouse. That took me quite a while to get used to. I kept clicking the spacebar instead of the left mouse button portion of the touchpad. Once you get used to touching the screen (which is what Microsoft is dying for you to do), the whole system seems to make more sense. The Ezel hinge makes it easy to bring the screen closer to the keyboard for just such an experience.

The 4th gen Intel processor does wonders for this machine with quick performance, battery life around six or seven hours and quick response accessing the 1TB drive. Makes it a pleasure to use large files and movies without worrying about filling the drive.

The case is a sturdy, unibody aluminum construction which feels solid and is easy to carry. Four large rubber feet keep it just above the table surface and allow the bottom facing speakers to reflect out the sound. Keyboard is a thing of joy with just the perfect tactile sensation for quick typing.

The stylus I’ve been using comes from N-trig and works extremely well. Both Microsoft Office and the Adobe Suite of products all recognize it. Made for detailed work, there are 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. Palm rejection capabilities take away one of life’s biggest irritants of working with a stylus. Side buttons are customer configurable. The one AAAA battery is rated for 18 months life.

Like every new computer, the Aspire R7 comes with a suite of their own applications for making photo albums, doing screen grabs, collecting scraps from the Web and more. AccuFinger even helps making small selections on the touch screen.

Sound on this machine is excellent and louder than most. Eight watts of Dolby Home Theater v4 push the four speakers to room filling levels. Flip your screen and the Left-Right orientation of the stereo sound flips as well.

AcerCloud is another nice feature, enabling you to connect to your machine from anywhere, including from your smartphone. Wake-up through Wi-Fi makes sure you can connect anytime, even if your machine is sleeping.

There’s a lot to like about the Acer Aspire R7. Check it out at their website http://www.acer.com.

Doug Bardwell, based in Cleveland, OH, writes about interesting new travel technology topics, across the country and around the world at DougBardwell.com. Feel free to drop him a line at travel.dougbardwell@gmail.com with suggestions for future products to be reviewed. If you've ever used one of the products he's reviewed, please leave your thoughts in the comment box below. To get his stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the "Subscribe" button above or follow him on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. To read Doug’s disclosure notice, click here.

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